Venere S is the latest Sonus faber loudspeaker and the new flagship of the Venere collection.  Released 3 years4068_Sonus_faber_Venere_S after the original Venere collection, the Venere S bridges the space between the Venere and Olympica ranges. It is the most powerful three-way speaker of the Venere line with three 180mm woofers for the best reproduction of lower frequencies and is entirely designed and assembled by hand in Arcugnano (Italy).  The three woofer cones of the Venere S are made of aluminium, providing for maximum lightness and stiffness of the transducers to achieve a fast response at low frequencies.  The midrange features a Curv membrane, a special thermoformed polypropylene fibre that provides the ideal solution for a natural reproduction of the main part of the audio spectrum. The high frequencies are reproduced by a tweeter with a soft dome membrane made of silk and manufactured by Dr. Kurt Mueller. The tweeter is mechanically decoupled by interposing a resilient material in order to make the transducer resistant to micro-vibrations generated by the intense activity of the other drivers.  The crossover network is assembled entirely in Italy with high-end components. Venere S is inspired by the shape of lyre and is available in 3 finishes: Piano White, Piano Black, and Wood. Available from September, priced at £3,798 per pair in black or white. The wood option commands a £200 premium. All prices include VAT.


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MrSpeakers has worked with legendary headphone designer, Bruce Thigpen (founder of Eminent-Technology andEther_news pioneer of numerous planar magnetic speaker technologies), to produce ETHER, a new planar-driven pair of open-backed, on-ear headphones.  They have produced a new kind of Planar technology, the V-Planar, with extra knurling.  ‘What is knurling?’ you ask, apparently knurling turns the flat planar driver into a more relaxed, accordion shaped zig-zag that prevents driver stretch but allows some ‘give’ at the same time. ETHER also features precision machined aluminium baffle, pivots and gimbals,  NiTinol memory metal head-band for low weight and added comfort, flat ear-pads to reduce weight and enhance the sonic seal, Italian leather with micro-suede headband and  lamb’s leather ear-pad coverings.

Price will be £1,150 for the standard version and £1,250 for the ETHER plus an enhanced cable design.


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Denon® Electronics has announced a new partnership with TIDAL, This new partnership gives HEOS users a newHEOS_news option for high fidelity music streaming. Users can access their TIDAL account directly through their HEOS system via the HEOS app, available for iOS, Android™* and Kindle Fire.

Don Freeman, Denon’s Vice President of Marketing, says: “This is a perfect partnership because we both cater to music listeners who appreciate and understand the quality of music – it is a top priority. TIDAL’s high fidelity tracks stream effortlessly through our amazing HEOS products providing listeners with the experience they deserve. TIDAL is offering an exciting new dimension in music streaming; combined with HEOS speakers, high quality digital music delivery is guaranteed!”

HEOS is a multi-room system featuring four wireless multi-zone speakers; HEOS 1, HEOS 3, HEOS 5 and HEOS 7. The HEOS Link and HEOS Amp bring HEOS functionality to Hi-Fi systems and passive speakers.


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No its not Easter but KEF has an EGG for us.  It seems like the market is awash with Bluetooth systems at theKEF_EGG moment but KEF has reinvented its successful ‘egg’ design, to be Bluetooth enabled, with superior 4.0 aptX compatibility and featuring KEF’s  famous Uni-Q driver from the KEF Blade.  It’s a plug-and-play’ package, with built-in amplification and DAC and can be used for streaming music anywhere in the home, for TV sound with the optical connection, or as a desktop music system. The system is also compatible with sonically superior high resolution music, with a digital 96kHz/24-bit USB input.

Available now, priced £349.95 in a choice of three contemporary finishes: Gloss Black, Pure White and Frosted Blue.


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MCRU and SliC Innovations have announced the launch of the Eclipse C loudspeaker cables. They have the sameslic-innovations-eclipse-c-loudspeaker-cables (2) patented cable design as the SliC interconnects and the designer, electrical engineer Eugene Howe just asks hifi owners to audition the cables and come to their own decisions about them.  Available exclusively from MCRU, in any length from 1 metre upwards, the SLiC loudspeaker cables are terminated with specially chosen gold plated locking banana plugs or gold plated spade connectors.

Available now  priced from £692 for a 1 metre stereo pair.


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GIK Acoustics has announced that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has issued utility patent US 9,091,060 for GIK’s proprietary design of its acoustic gikstandabsorbers.

The patent covers the design and construction of GIK Acoustics’ 242 Acoustic Panels, 244 Bass Traps with FlexRange Technology, and Monster Bass Traps with FlexRange Technology. GIK Acoustics’ patented design begins with a two-frame system that allows low end frequency waves to be absorbed from the sides and back while the frame maintains a crisp, sharp edge. The design provides a built-in air gap which increases low end absorption, but also allows the panel to hang truly flush on the wall using an integrated wire on the back.

Additionally US Pat. 9,091,060 encompasses GIK’s proprietary FlexRange Technology membrane system which offers customers a choice to control the frequency range that’s absorbed. Without a membrane, their 244 Bass Traps and Monster Bass Traps are broadband. With a membrane, these bass traps absorb even lower frequencies while the membrane has less effect absorbing upper frequencies.

Company founder and president, Glenn Kuras says, “We have been working on and perfecting the effectiveness of our absorbers and am so proud of the exclusive rights to the design and method of build. The patented design truly sets GIK Acoustics apart from the competition and defines the standards we set for ourselves.”


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Leema Acoustics, the  Welshpool based hi-fi manufacturer founded and run by two ex-BBC sound engineers, has launched the Xen 2 loudspeaker; the original Xen Angle BlackXen having been the result of a research project to squeeze a BBC-graded monitor speaker into a 5L cabinet!

The new Xen 2 is based on the previous model (deleted in 2008), but with a host of improvements for 2015.  With a volume of just five cubic litres and a front baffle that’s A5, the new Xen 2 is super-compact and easy to position in almost any home or studio environment. Despite its dimensions, the Xen 2 has a frequency response extending down to 57Hz and all the way up to 25kHz.

Originally conceived 17 years ago as a cost-no-object nearfield monitor for use in recording studios and broadcast vehicles, Leema Acoustics’ Xen loudspeaker quickly found favour with music lovers outside of the professional environment.

The Xen 2’s cabinet is made from folded and welded steel, 1.5mm thick; in a speaker of this size, using the industry-standard 18mm-thick MDF/veneer solution would have simply added too much bulk. The steel is lined with a bitumastic layer, a technique also employed in the automotive industry, and the cavity is then stuffed with real sheep’s wool.

The back panel is steel with bitumen on the inside and the crossover board is attached to the terminals directly. The crossover uses Bennic parts and air core inductors where possible, to avoid saturation and compression in the crossover. The cabinet also benefits from a 12mm-thick steel bar across the centre to prevent flex and the front panel is machined from an impressively rigid high-grade MDF to provide the drive units with the

optimum operating environment. The baffle is then finished in either a wood veneer or a conventional black paint.

The Xen 2 benefits from two bass reflex ports, which extend into the cabinet then fold down behind the bass driver, with each measuring 260mm. Twin ports are used to ensure that the speed of the air moving in the port is below 0.1x the speed of sound (Mach).

The Xen 2’s bass ports are placed close to the drive unit, so that the integration is as good as possible. The original Xen has SEAS drivers, but following their discontinuation, Leema Acoustics’ engineering team commissioned a drive unit to be built to its own specification.

The bass/mid driver is a highly durable unit with exceptional cone excursion and the tweeter is a soft-dome unit with a neodymium magnet and Ferro-fluid-loaded coil, which helps  damp resonance and aid cooling.

In order to combat the unwanted midrange peak inherent in many four-inch (100mm) drive units, the cabinet has been specially designed to ‘give a little’ at just the right frequency which helps minimise the effect.


  • Cabinet: Braced folded steel, wooden baffle
  • Tweeter: 25mm soft-dome unit
  • Bass/mid unit: 100mm custom-spec unit
  • Finishes: Silver with veneered baffle; black paint 

The Xen 2 is priced at £1,295 and is available now.

Hifi Pig have a pair in for a full and detailed review which will be published in the very near future.

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Now in its eleventh year the much loved Fest Jazz at Chateauneuf-du-Faou certainly didn’t disappoint visitors this year…if only the same could be said for the weather which was excitedly moist to say the very least. More »

Founded by keen audiophile Darren Hollands, MBA Co already has three products in an expanding portfolio whileMBACO_New_products actively seeking worldwide distribution for its loudspeakers and electronics. The line-up includes Progression floor standing loudspeakers, Pulse stand-mounts, plus the Status integrated amplifier. Already on the drawing board is a smaller, sealed speaker dubbed The Spur, and a co-axial-based centre speaker called The Centrice.

“Everything we manufacture is built here in the UK”, says Darren. “Our luxuriously finished loudspeaker cabinets, for example, are made from aircraft-grade aluminium extrusions. These provide an elegant, rigid and pure sound by reducing typical cabinet colouration to a minimum.” MBA Co have all their amplifier circuit boards and metalwork manufactured in the UK, while everything is hand-assembled at their own premises on the Kent coast. “We’ve exciting plans to extend the electronics range”, adds Darren. “There’ll be pre-amps, a stand-alone DAC, power amps, plus a ‘lifestyle’ integrated amplifier.


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Fanthorpes in Hull (East Yorkshire) are hosting an event in three weeks’ time showcasing the brand-new AVID pre-amplifier and monobloc power amplifiers in AVIDtheir store.

The system was launched at the Munich Hi-end show and retails as a complete system in excess of £85k. However, this will be the first time it will have been demonstrated in UK.

Conrad Mas the owner of AVID will be leading the demonstrations of the Acutus Reference turntable, AVID Pre, AVID Mono’s and the PMC MB2SE plus KEF Blade 2 loudspeakers.

Hifi Pig heard the system (and met Conrad) at the Munich High End show earlier in the year. and  were very impressed!

The dates of this event are  Friday 14th and  Saturday 15th August.

ER4S, ER4PT and HF series of isolator earphones from Etymotic Research have just been launched onto the UKer4p_frost_eartips_curledcord_v1_rgb market. Unlike most earphones Etymotic earphones are designed to be inserted inside the actual ear canal. The airtight seal created by the earphone’s custom-designed ear tips allow highly-focused sound waves to reach the ear drums and the bass response does not dissipate. The noise isolation of 35 dB – 42 dB is documented as being the highest of any earphones or headphones on the market today meaning the volume level need not be as high as regular non-noise isolating earphones, reducing the risk of ear damage.

The HF3 and HF5 earphones are very compact and useful for frequent travelling and going to the gym. The high accuracy and sound isolation of the ER4S have made these earphones popular with musicians, recording engineers and audiophiles. The ER4PT earphones are intended for sound engineers and audiophiles and come equipped with extra accessories and adapters.

HF5 Earphones – £99.95

HF3 Earphones (With remote and mic supported with iPhone 3Gs – iPhone 5s, iPad & iPad mini) – £119.95

ER4PT Earphones – £299

ER4S Earphones – £199.99


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Melodika, one of the biggest Polish manufacturers of hi-fi cables is expanding its Purple Rain range with headphoneMDRSUB_news and subwoofer cables.The new headphone cables are:

– adapter mini jack 3.5mm socket-socket: MDGMJ02
– adapter mini jack 3.5mm plug – jack 6.3mm socket: MDPMJGJ
– jack 6.3mm plug – mini jack 3.5mm socket extension cord (length: 0,2m, 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 8m, 10m) : MDPJGMJ
– mini jack 3.5mm plug-socket extension cord (length: 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 2.5m, 3m, 4m, 5m, 6m, 7m, 8m, 10m, 12m, 15m, 20m): MDPMJ

The Melodika Purple Rain mini-jack cables are made in Poland with Polish oxygen free copper, silver enriched tin solder and a high quality shielding. The cables are resistant to UV, sea water, ozone and alcohol. The Purple Rain  MDRSUB subwoofer cable comes with three speaker spades and one Neutrik Speakon dedicated for REL subwoofers  (lengths: 1m, 2m, 3m, 4m, 5m, 6m, 7m, 8m, 10m)


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The Absolute Mediaserver (from Swiss high-end brand Orpheus) which was showcased for the first time to the public during the High End 2015 in Münich will be officially launched on the Orpheus_mediaserver2market in September 2015.

The Absolute Mediaserver is equipped with an Intel i3 processor, mSata SSD for the OS, a built-in ripper, 2 headphone ports, HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs, a profusion of digital outputs, a fully balanced audio signal path, DVD/Bluray with 4K support, up to 4TB memory, UPnP server and rendered functions, a 1280 x 800 7″ touchscreen display and an Android and iOS remote app.


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The Kassandra uses the AD1865 chip, an 18bit R2R converter, which they say is probably the best sounding audio DAC …in fact they use 32 of them,16 converters per channel. KAssandra_2_DAC

The 16 converters in each channel work in complimentary mode, so that 8 converters are inverted. The two differential converter banks work in synchronicity  to achieve perfect symmetry. The 16 converters are working in current mode,and use an INtransformer so that the current differential is converted in single ended voltage output. No resistors or OPAMPS are used in the INconversion stage.

The analogue stage is implemented by a single ended transformer coupled triode stage, using the E280F,working in triode  mode, loaded with a  step down output transformer. The tube’s grid is driven by the secondary of the INtransformer  via an adjustable bias supply. The tube  power  supply is an oversized choke regulated supply. The step-down transformer  reduces the output  impedance  to 40ohms, with a maximum swing at full scale of 30Vpp sine wave.

The converter is equipped with an internal super-clock, which re-clocks the converters, making the processor virtually immune to transport changes, says the company’s press release. With the internal clock, there is no need for a word clock input. The super-clock re-clocker can be bypassed on the fly, so you can hear the effect of jitter elimination in your system.

The Kassandra Mk2 is available is signature version, with  upgraded power supplies. The Signature’s power supply is a complex system of a total of 8 toroidal transformers, for full separation of digital section, analogue supplies, clock supply and the tube circuits.


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Swiss company Soulution have announced their new SACD player, the 746+. Retailing at 70,000 CHF, production willsoulution_news be limited to just 20 units. The 746+ unites a top quality optical drive, a super-precise master clock generator, an intelligent digital signal processor with over sampling, high quality analogue output stages and a new, highly precise and ultra-powerful power supply. Together they ensure nothing in the music is lost on its way from disc to output connection. Apart from the top class Esoteric CD/SACD drive the 746+ provides versatile connectivity through four digital inputs (AES/EBU, SPDIF-RCA, SPDIF-BNC and Optical,). All digital sources get synchronised to the internal master clock which ensures optimal read-out of discs as well as perfect reception of all digital music formats (incl. high resolution). The external power supply unit consists of five power supply circuits which are arranged in three separate and electrically isolated sections for powering the CD/SCAD drive, the digital sections and the analog circuits. They are all complemented by a multi-state filter network which keeps mutual interference across the three to a minimum.


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If you are a serious vinyl lover, give yourself a treat and pop down to Loud & Clear’s Bonnington Mill showrooms atDiverse_at_loudandclear Newhaven Road, Edinburgh on Saturday the 1st of August.  Diverse Vinyl are there with their pop up vinyl shop and will have all the latest vinyl releases and audiophile reissues from around the world.  They will also have a selection of rare, out of print collectables to tempt you with too! If you have something specific in mind then contact Diverse Vinyl to pre order.


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